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Re: [tlug] GW projects

On 2020-04-28 11:27 +0900 (Tue), Stephen Lasseter wrote:

> One huge change with the rp4 is that the NIC no longer runs on the USB bus
> as in previous models.  This had been a significant bottleneck.  It also now
> has gigabit ethernet.  In terms of performance, the jump from rp3 to rp4 is
> massive.

Well, for Ethernet, yes. But that doesn't help with the disk I/O speed
issue, which I've found to be by far the biggest system bottleneck.

> I have heard folks having luck now booting from a connected SSD (over USB)
> rather than SD card.

Sure, that works fine; I ran one of my Zeros mainly from a USB 3 flash
device because that was noticeably faster than even a fast (Samsung
EVO+) MicroSD card. It was still very slow compared to even my very
lowest-end Celeron system, though, and the main bottleneck still
appeared to be disk I/O. (I never felt any slowness in network

If you want to try this, note that you still need an SD card for some
of the initial bootstrap code, but the root filesystem can be on the
USB device, IIRC, and the SD card need not be used once you're booted.

Note that the performance problems with SD cards are probably not
entirely attributable to the RPi itself. I've used SD cards for
secondary storage on my various ThinkPad laptops as well (which are
_much_ faster than an RPi) and they are also considerably slower than
an SSD.

> I don't have one of these yet, but I'm also excited to find that our friends
> at Canonical have put in a lot of effort into supporting the rp4 and I hear
> that their latest Ubuntu for it is solid.  I'm not much of an Ubuntu user
> myself at the moment, but I'd prefer that over Raspbian for my use cases.

Good to hear! What does this offer over or do differently from
Raspbian, beyond the standard Ubuntu vs. Debian advantages and

> But, if you need even better performance for this form factor, you
> may want to look into the Rock Pro 64.  I'm toying with the idea of
> getting one myself and using it to replace my old AppleTV with a
> nice, fast Kodi/Jellyjin client for the living room TV.

If you're looking for something in the larger Apple TV form factor,
you could also consider any of the many small form factor boxes out
there.[1] I've used both Livia N3350 (Celeron N3350) and a Liva N4200
(Pentium N4200) as desktop systems and while the former was a bit
sluggish, the latter was just fine as my primary desktop system (with
a 4K monitor) at work  for a couple of years. Many of these (including
both the above) offer dual monitor outputs, too, so you can use the
HDMI as your video output (to your TV or whatever) and connect the
DisplayPort output to your desktop monitor if you want to use it as a
desktop system (for configuration or management or whatever).


Curt J. Sampson      <>      +81 90 7737 2974

To iterate is human, to recurse divine.
    - L Peter Deutsch

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